How to tell if someone is stealing your home Wi-Fi

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Is your home Wi-Fi slow? If you suspect someone is stealing your WiFi, here’s how you can detect and block unknown devices to make sure your home network is fully secure, according to cybersecurity company Trend Micro.

It’s Friday night. You have just completed a long week of working from home. You decide to relax on the couch and start binge-watching the latest Netflix series. After enjoying a few snacks and drinks, you are settled and comfortable.

You sigh and roll your eyes as the first episode seems destined to never load, stuck in an endless buffering loop. You think back to earlier today, when you weren’t able to send that email to Julie from the accounts. Come to think of it now, you’ve been on the internet for quite some time. Which give? You pay for top tier speeds, but you sure don’t get them.

Is there a neighbor who steals your WiFi?

A double-edged sword

Almost all of us have WiFi in our homes, and many of us probably use WiFi extension cords to increase the range of our network, Trend Micro notes.

On the one hand, it’s great: you can access the internet from any of your devices, from anywhere in your home. On the other hand, it’s not that great – if your WiFi network isn’t secure, your neighbors or those nearby can access it as well. When they share your connection, your speeds are going to be considerably slower.

What’s much worse is that if your network is not secure, your data could be hacked. Your shared folders are accessible and your personal information can be stolen. It can mean that usernames, passwords, financial information, medical records, whatever is stored on your devices is at risk.

How to check who is connected to my WiFi

Trend Micro has identified two ways of seeing who is using your Internet connection. The first is quite complicated for most, so if you’re not too tech-savvy, consider upgrading to the second option.


1. Check your router’s web administration control panel – a little tricky

There are far too many router manufacturers to be able to do a detailed guide for all of them, but the instructions below will be similar across the board:

  1. Find the IP address of your router.
  2. Open a web browser and go to your router’s web administration control panel. Click here for instructions on how to do this. You will need to know the administrative username and password to log in.
  3. Navigate to the control panel and view the table of DHCP clients (depending on the brand of router you have, it may be named slightly differently). This will show you a list of all the devices connected to your network.

2. HouseCall for home networks – the easiest option

Trend Micro’s completely free utility, HouseCall for Home Networks, allows you to scan your home network and connected devices using your computer or mobile device so you can see exactly who is connected.

Here is how it works:

  1. Download and install HouseCall for Home Networks for free.
  2. Open the app.
  3. Click on “Scan now”
  4. Once the scan is complete, you will see all the devices connected to your home network.

If you see any suspicious devices or devices that you don’t recognize, it’s a good idea to take action. Unknown devices detected? Here’s how to remove suspicious devices from your Wi-Fi router

  • Reset your Wi-Fi password: Resetting your password will remove all connected devices from your network. This will eliminate whoever is accessing it without your permission, but you will also need to reconnect all of your devices. Click here for instructions.
  • Encrypt your network: Encrypting your network is an important step in making sure it is as secure as possible. Click here for a full explanation of how to do this.
  • Disable your router’s WPS, remote management and UPnP features: Without getting too technical, these features are handy, but they also potentially reduce the security of your network. If optimal levels of security are desired, turn off all of these features. Access to features can be found in your router’s web-based control panel.

This article features on Trend Micro and can be found here


Read: Watch Out For This New Tactic Targeting Your Home WiFi Router


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